Saturday, 7 July 2012

Vicious Detritivore

I'm still recovering from the final week of term. Suffice to say, I do not want to see kiwi fruit, flapjacks or 5:00am for a very very long time. Yesterday I took four of my very best AS students to Cambridge for an open day at Caius College, which was a great success (though it pissed it down for much of the day). I'm hoping to have at least one of them apply in September, maybe more - they're all exceptional.

Earlier in the week I was briefly able to sit in the garden for a short while, and I spotted a very large beetle on the gravel. So I picked it up and put it on the table to poke examine it further.

It's a stag beetle, no doubt about it. The only question is whether it's a greater or lesser stag beetle. Well, the yellow "trim" and the brown colour to the carapace is a giveaway - it's the female of the greater stag beetle, Lucanus cervus.

She was clearly furious with me, rearing up on her hind legs a few times. Apparently the females can give a nasty bite, so I did well to avoid her jaws there. I did put her back on the ground to continue her evening's activity, which was presumably trying to find a male stag beetle or a place to lay her eggs.


  1. Replies
    1. None on your subtropical paradise island? ;) It's been a couple of years since I last saw one. We used to see the males buzzing around in the evening, but this spring/summer is so dismal I don't think there have been as many.


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